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Maryland Driver’s License Renewal: How to Apply

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So, got your driver’s license in Maryland? Yes, it was a long and time-consuming process! But you don’t have to worry about driving around the state roads until it’s time for your Maryland driver’s license renewal! But should you need to renew it? 

Yes. You may face a penalty if you do not renew your driver’s license on time. Driving without a license earns you a penalty of $500 and possible jail time. You’ll love to avoid it, don’t you? Driver’s license renewal in Maryland won’t be complicated if you know how to do it! 

So, it is time for renewal? We’ll take you through the steps and requirements of your Maryland driver’s license renewal here. 

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Is there a grace period for Maryland driver’s license renewal? 

Yes. Drivers in Maryland have a 60-day grace period after their license expires. If the renewal doesn’t happen within 60 days, they must pass an examination on renewing their Maryland driver’s license.  

When should you do your Maryland driver’s license renewal? 

You can locate your Maryland driver’s license expiration date in the bottommost right corner of your license, above the date of issue. Like in many other states, the expiry date overlaps with your birth date. When it’s time for renewal, you will get a letter and e-mail from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA).  

It will include instructions for renewing your license and the list of required documents. Drivers who reach the age of 21 can renew their license seven days before it expires. Suppose your license remains inactive for more than a year. Before your license gets reissued, you must pass the vision, knowledge, and driving skills road test. You may also have to produce proof of your age, identity, and residency. 

Can I renew my Maryland driver’s license before it expires? 

Yes! You can do your Maryland driver’s license renewal six months before the expiration date. You must always prefer it because you don’t have to worry about late fines, driving with an expired license, etc. 

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What documents do I need to renew my Maryland driver’s license? 

These are the requirements to renew your driver’s license in the state. 

  • Age and identity proof: It can be an original certified copy of your US passport.  
  • Social Security Number (SSN) proof: It can be your Social Security card, a W-2 form, or an SSA-1099 form.  
  • Proof of residency: It can be your Maryland car title or vehicle registration, bill or receipt confirming your property tax, or account related to utility, cable/satellite TV account communications, or telephone.  

How to renew your Maryland driver’s license  

There are three ways by which you can do the renewal process. 

  • Online 
  • In-person 
  • By mail 

How to renew it online 

Suppose the MDOT MVA notice states that you can renew your license online. In that case, you can do it via the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s online portal. You can also use an MDOT MVA self-service kiosk. 

Drivers above 40 must show proof of an electronic vision assessment submitted by an Authorized Online Vision Certification Provider. The driver must get the vision certification online or through a self-service kiosk within 24 months of renewing the license. 

Steps to follow  

  • Make an online visit to the MDOT MVA self-service kiosk. 
  • Choose ‘Driver Services,’ and then select ‘Renew Driver’s License or ID.’ 
  • To proceed, you must create an account or log in. 
  • Submit the documents proving your driver’s license number and authorized vision certification.  
  • Then follow the online directives. 
  • Make the annual renewal payment of $6, or $48, for eight years. 
  • Then wait for your new driver’s license to arrive by mail.  

How to renew in-person  

driver's license in MarylandImage courtesy: https://www.tsa.gov/

If MDOT MVA requires you to renew in person, you can start the process here. Suppose your name changed since the last license issuance. In that case, you must notify the Social Security Administration before renewing your license with the MDOT MVA. 

To avoid long queues, the MDOT MVA asks eligible drivers under 40 to renew their driver’s licenses online, by mail, or at a self-service kiosk. You cannot renew at an MDOT MVA branch office counter in person. Online renewal is available for all non-commercial driver’s licenses. 

Steps to follow  

  • Make an appointment with your local MDOT MVA. The MDOT MVA facilities accept walk-ins, but we strongly advise making an appointment to save time.  
  • Produce the following documents – renewal notice, your old driver’s license, proof of residency, SSN, lawful status, and a valid ID. 
  • Complete the renewal application. 
  • Pass the vision test (if you’re over 40, or every other renewal if you’re under 40). Pass the knowledge test (if your license remains inactive for more than a year). 
  • Submit your documents and take a new photo. 
  • Pay the $6 annual or $48 renewal fee for eight years. 
  • Then, wait for your new license to arrive by mail.  

How to renew by mail 

You can use this renewal mode if you receive a ‘renew by mail’ notice. All mail-in applications should be dated 15 days before the expiration date to ensure timely delivery. You must do the renewal in person at an MDOT MVA office if there are any errors in your personal information. 

Steps to follow 

  • Fill out the renewal application. 
  • If you are above  40, see a doctor and have the vision certification portion of the form completed. 
  • Include the renewal fee.  
  • When you’ve finished the application, mail it to the address on your renewal form. 

If you want to change your address, go to the MVA website and update your information, then follow the instructions to renew via mail. 

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How much does it cost to renew a Maryland driver’s license? 

When it comes to your Maryland driver’s license renewal, you have many options. Ideally, the cost is $6 per year. The renewal period can be five years ($30), six years ($36), seven years ($42), or eight years ($48). A commercial driver’s license (CDL) renewal costs you $50. 

How long does it take for a Maryland driver’s license renewal?  

Getting your new license via mail will take around 4-7 days. Always ensure that the registered address is correct. You must destroy your old license when you get the renewed one.  

If you don’t receive your license within 30 days, contact the MDOT MVA at 410-768-7000. Drivers with hearing impairments can contact 800-492-4575. 

How long after your driver’s license expires can you renew it in Maryland? 

Even if your license expires, you will have one year to renew it. If you renew after a year, you must reattend the knowledge exam. 

Do I need to make an appointment to renew my Maryland driver’s license? 

You can do walk-ins at some MDOT MVA facilities. But we recommend you book an appointment to save time while renewing your license.  

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